NJ Public Transportation Accident Attorneys
Public transportation accident lawyers in Ridgewood serving Northern New Jersey
Many New Jersey residents rely on mass transit to commute to work or for interstate travel. Although the public transportation system is relatively safe, accidents do happen and they can be catastrophic because of the weight, size and speed of trains and buses. If you were injured in such an accident, you can rely on Seigel Law to pursue the compensation you deserve. Whether you were injured on a NJ Transit train or bus, the PATH system, the light rail or a municipal bus, we have the knowledge and experience to fight and win. Based in Ridgewood, we serve clients in Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Hudson counties.
Our lawyers represent passengers injured while riding on New Jersey's transit system
Seigel Law represents mass transit passengers, motorists and pedestrians injured in accidents involving public transportation. Our firm has concentrated solely on personal injury recovery since our inception in 1976. Because we devote all of our resources and experience to this one area of law, our lawyers can aggressively take on powerful entities responsible for your accident.
Common causes of public transportation accidents
Trains and buses are convenient and generally safe forms of transportation. However, riders can be victims of such injury-causing events as:
- Bus accidents — Bus drivers sometimes make sudden stops or sharp and abrupt turns that cause injury to passengers. Moreover, bus operators can be responsible for collisions with autos, bicycles and pedestrians.
- Train accidents — Derailments due to inattentive conductors or to poorly maintained equipment have caused death and serious injury on train lines in recent years, such as the NJ Transit train accident in Hoboken that killed one passenger and injured dozens of others.
- Station incidents — Narrow or under-construction platforms can create a risk of passengers falling onto the rails. Gaps between the platform and the train can subject riders to possible trips and falls. Additionally, inadequate security in the station can enable an unlawful attack.
Injuries sustained on mass transit accidents are often more severe than those suffered in motor vehicle accidents.
New Jersey train accidents
Train accidents often occur at grade crossings, such as those on the streets of Ridgewood, Hackensack, Fair Lawn, Garfield, Fort Lee, Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth and Clifton. Defective crossings or rights of way open to wandering pedestrians are death traps for which railways can be held accountable. As a train approaches an intersection, a gate should descend, a warning bell should chime, and the conductor’s loud whistle should blow. If any of these vital alert systems fail, drivers and pedestrians are at risk of being hit by a high-speed train.
New Jersey bus accidents
Negligently operated buses present a threat to the public, motorists and passengers. A motor vehicle accident may result if the bus driver:
- Texts or talks on a cellphone
- Uses drugs or alcohol
- Drives long-distance routes without adequate sleep
- Lacks training or experience
- Fails to monitor the back end of the bus during turns
Transportation companies are at fault for the negligence of their drivers. Drivers may forgo sleep, take stimulants or exceed speed limits to keep the bus on schedule. A company may hire drivers with a history of traffic citations and without the requisite experience to safely handle a bus. Any of these irregularities may factor into the company’s liability to an injured party.
Common injuries from public transportation accidents
Injuries sustained on public transit run the gamut from minor sprains and contusions to wrongful death. Common injuries include concussions and traumatic brain injury, spinal trauma and whiplash, loss of limb, internal injuries and broken bones. Whatever your injury, you deserve full and fair compensation.
Steps you should take immediately after a public transportation accident injury
After a public transit accident, it’s important to document what happened in order to show how the accident led to the injury you suffered. For this reason, you should the following:
- Alert transit personnel — Make the incident known immediately and ask that the bus or train be stopped.
- Call 911 — Request assistance from police and EMTs.
- Collect witness contact information — Testimony of eye witnesses can be crucial to your damages claim.
- Document the scene — Take cellphone photos of the vehicles involved, your visible injuries and any hazardous condition that played a role in the accident.
- Seek medical treatment — For your health and safety, as well as to document your injury, you should go immediately to your nearest ER or trauma center.
Finally, you should speak to a qualified transit injury attorney who can begin investigating the accident and preparing a claim for compensation.
Why you need a lawyer for your mass transit accident
There are three major reasons why you need professional representation in your transit injury case:
- Time limits — New Jersey law generally allows an accident victim two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, but time periods for suing public entities are shorter. There are also special rules for suing government entities that you must follow, or your claim can be denied.
- Alone, you’re outmatched — You must have the resources to take on a powerful public entity with a deep legal department, who are determined to deny or limit your claim.
- Improved results — Studies have shown that professional representation increases victims’ chances of getting the full measure of compensation they deserve. This includes damages for medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering.
If you are planning to fight city hall, make sure you’re fighting with an ally who’s done it before.
Get the help you need with your mass transit crash claim
Seigel Law is a premier personal injury law firm serving clients who have been injured in transit accidents throughout northern New Jersey, including Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Hudson counties. Call us at 201-444-4000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at our Ridgewood-based firm or at your home or hospital. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay attorney fees unless we recover money damages for you.